For the perfect Sydney escape Matty has decided to head for the majestic Blue Mountains and check out the scenic surrounds.
Scenic World in Katoomba is one of the most popular privately owned tourist attractions in Australia.
It is located on the edge of a 200 metre cliff overlooking the Three Sisters and the attraction comprises three fantastic rides: The Scenic Railway, the world’s steepest incline railway, and the Sceniscender, Australia’s steepest cable car ride, a 545 metre ride into previously inaccessible parts of the Blue Mountains where you can stroll through tranquil scenery along the Rainforest Boardwalk.
The Sceniscender is the steepest aerial cable car in Australia and takes you on a 545 metre ride into the World Heritage Listed rainforest of the Jamison valley, previously inaccessible parts of the Blue Mountains where you can stroll through tranquil scenery along the Rainforest Boardwalk. It can carry up to 84 passengers.
The Scenic Railway is the world’s steepest incline railway (if you can’t handle heights and the steepness, you can take the Sceniscender down as well). It descends 415m down the escarpment at a gradient of 52 degrees and travels through the tunnel and ancient rainforest. It can carry up to 84 passengers and takes you to the rainforest boardwalk connecting to the Sceniscender platform. It operates every 10 minutes.
The Scenic Railway will take you down to the Rainforest Boardwalk- there is over 2 kilometres of boardwalk through the ancient rainforest and 380 metres of it is wheel chair accessible.
There is a Coal Mine Exhibition a few minutes along the boardwalk- there is a 10 minute audio visual display at the coal mine entrance and a life size bronze sculpture of a mine worker and his pit pony.
There is a Rainforest Room- an educational area that seats 110 people. And you can also have a refreshing drink of pure mountain water from the Marrangaroo Spring.
There is a Blue Mountains documentary shown on demand and you can view the 3D-slide show as an optional extra.
Skyway Brassiere and Harry’s Café and Bar
The Brassiere will be closed due to renovations but it offers affordable meals with Australian flavours, morning and afternoon teas and is fully licensed.
It seats up to 200 people and has the only revolving floor located in the Blue Mountains. Harry's Cafe and Bar is also located at Scenic World, offering al fresco dining with spectacular views of the 3 Sisters and Jamison Valley.
You can enjoy the ultimate experience of a world heritage national park whilst dining on delicious light snacks, fresh juices, espresso coffees, cakes and pastries cooked daily on the premises.
Zig Zag Railway
The Great Lithgow Zig Zag Railway is a major part of Australia’s railway heritage that has been acclaimed worldwide as an engineering feat of its time. It is a system of cuttings, tunnels and stone viaducts built between 1866- 69 to overcome the steep descent from the Blue Mountains to the Western Plains beyond.
It was constructed to enable produce to be taken to Sydney from the prosperous farming areas beyond the Blue Mountains and to develop the coal and iron ore deposits found in the Lithgow Valley. The old world steam train passes over three magnificent sandstone viaducts and through two tunnels offering striking views of the surrounding countryside.
In many ways Leura is seen as the most urbane and sophisticated of all the villages in the Blue Mountains and it is 105km west of Sydney.
Its Mall is full of chic coffee houses, gift shops and eateries; its streets are tree-lined and elegant; its houses are attractive and commonly surrounded by English and European style gardens.
Bygone Beautys, Antique Centre and Tearoom
There are over 3,000 teapots on display at Bygone Beautys. The vast selection of teapots includes old and new; rare or common; English, Asian, Australian, German, Russian; various styles, shapes, tastes; china teapots, silver teapots, pottery teapots, fine porcelain teapots and cast iron teapots.
Unusual and collectable teapots include an Australian Pan teapot, Hunting Scenes, Crinoline Ladies, a Black Mama teapot, Miniatures, 1940’s English Humpty Dumpty teapots, Britannia Metal and EPNS, Art Deco, Commemoration Teapot for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, Victorian Willow, a Staffordshire Japan Style believed to be from the Paris Exhibition and a Wedgwood Cream Ware dating back to 1792.
Bygone Beautys’ Teapot Collection started some 30 years ago by Ron Hooper. Ron joined forces with Maurice Cooper, both now joint proprietors of Bygone Beautys Antiques at Leura. The collection is continually growing and can boast to be the largest private collection in the world.
Bygone Beautys has the largest private emporium of Antiques and Collectables in the Blue Mountains. It is a trove for treasure hunters and all who love a living touch of history. Take a trip down memory lane as you browse around rooms filled with jewellery, furniture, fine china, dinner services, dolls and toys.
They are famous for having the Best Devonshire Tea in the Blue Mountains and also serve old-world style silver service traditional tea- a special tea service where sandwiches and scones with assorted home made biscuits and cakes are delivered to your table silver service on a traymobile, and served on delicate china. A true indulgence and reminiscent of decades past.
The Candy Store:
It is an old time Lolly Shop where you can relive your childhood surrounded by a tremendous range of old time favourites. There are over 1,000 unique and unusual candies, chocolates, nougats, novelties, tins and toffees gathered from all over the world.
You can select your favourite sweets from over 1,000 jars - the largest selection of lollies in the State. They also have one the largest assortments of traditional English sweets in Australia. The Candy Store is an icon in Leura.
Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum
Leuralla, overlooking the Jamieson Valley at Leura, was built just prior to World War I and epitomises the mode of the 1920’s and 30’s. The design of the home was influenced by the world famous American architect of the day Frank Lloyd Wright. The home is Heritage listed and is displayed in its original state, including original paint finishes, furnishings, fixtures and fittings.
The original decorative finishes are evident and all woodwork and carvings are French Polished. All of the construction was carried out by hand. The timberwork took two years to complete as the home was built in a pre-electric tool era and includes the wood panelling, sideboards, cabinets and even the dining room table and tulip motif chairs.
In addition there is a room-by-room bell system to allow all rooms in the home to communicate with the kitchen- totally modern for its time. The collection of tin toys includes penny toys (penny toys were sold in Victorian times), along with tin plate boats, aeroplanes, lead soldiers, farm animals and dolls houses.
There are also on display battery and friction toys produced in Japan during the 1950s. These include toy robots, boats, trucks, aeroplanes and cars and all reflect the style and character of the period.
Leuralla has the only permanent display of Barbie Dolls from 1959 to the current day in Australia. The model trains, boats, aeroplanes, trucks and cars are faithful replicas of the vehicles of the time, along with the hundreds of lead figures representing farm, zoo, garden, passengers, soldiers and railway personnel.
These figures are taken literally from life and represent society in miniature. They are a three-dimensional illustration of the actual time. There is also a selection of books, puzzles and games including an old Monopoly set and a large collection of trains and model railways.
The 12 acres of gardens were laid down at the turn of the century.
Grand Mercure Hydro Majestic Heritage Hotel
The Grand Mercure Hydro Majestic Hotel is a very famous heritage hotel in the Blue Mountains. “A Palace in the Wilderness" are the words that were used to describe the Palatial Health resort built in 1904 by attractive retail baron, world traveller and sportsman, Mark Foy.
Mr Foy was something of a hypochondriac and during his world travels he discovered the health benefits of a spa at Smedley's Matlock Bath in Derbyshire, England. It not only cured his ills but fired his imagination to such a degree that he returned to Australia to set about financing Australia's first health retreat.
The Heritage and Gallery Rooms are both furnished in Art Deco style. Cloister Rooms are decorated in both the Art Deco and Edwardian style. Selected rooms have spa baths.
The two houses sit on 3 acres of gardens. The cottages are linked via secret passages through the gardens. You have no way of seeing any other guests on the property if you don’t want to and you have private entrances to each part of the property.
The property has beautifully manicured gardens, which were established in 1907 by a family who journeyed up to the mountains to expose their sick daughter to the therapeutic mountain air.
The gardens include conifers, rhododendrons, azaleas and a beautiful rolling meadow which can be directly accessed from the Weeroona house stone steps which lead straight onto the meadow. There are secret passages and sweet statues through out the gardens. Weeroona won one of the 2000 Blue Mountains spring Garden competitions.
There is a wide variety of bird life around the property, from: Rozellas and Majour Mitchells to Cockatoos and Currawongs.